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NASA’s new red planet probe, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), has relayed spectacular test images using its super-powerful camera leaving mission scientists and engineers more than pleased with the initial imagery.
The views from MRO's High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which has called the most powerful camera ever sent to red planet, reached Earth early Friday.
“The quality of the images is fantastic!” HiRISE principal investigator Alfred McEwen, of the University of Arizona, told SPACE.com. “This demonstrates that both the HiRISE camera and the spacecraft pointing performed superbly.”
After the test shots using HiRISE wrap up on Saturday, the camera will be turned off while the spacecraft “aerobrakes” - a technique whereby the MRO spacecraft repeatedly dips into the upper atmosphere more than five hundred times to scrub off speed. By doing so, the spacecraft will drop into successively more circular orbits...
Full Story Space.com
One of the first images from MRO's HiRISE camera: Craters with parts that look scooped out show strange debris piles in the centers. Craters only 20 feet wide (about 7 meters) are very sharp and clear. Strange channels with various levels of some type of flows are showing up in some images.